After a six-week long break, The Good Wife returned on Sunday night with a new episode called "Dark Money," and it certainly made it seem as though the down and dirty nature of the Chicago political scene is finally starting to get to Alicia Florrick. Let's just say that the nickname "St. Alicia" sounds more ridiculous now than ever before. Here's what went down: Not only is Alicia behind her opponent, Frank Prady, in the polls, she's behind in campaign funding, too. So, when she learns that Prady is trying to secure money from Guy Redmayne (Ed Asner), a wealthy supporter of Democratic political candidates, she schedules a meeting with the former real estate tycoon — and what she discovers during their chat is really unsettling.
When Alicia first sits down with Redmayne, he seems friendly enough. However, it doesn't take long for him to reveal his true colors: he's a sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic pig. While Alicia's trying to explain to him why she deserves his financial support, Redmayne repeatedly puts his hand on her knee. Eventually, she stands up in attempt to avoid any further unwanted touching, at which point, he comes right out and tells her how much he's enjoying gawking at her legs. Disgusting.
Shortly after, Redmayne gives Alicia the bottom line: he's going to support her campaign, not because he thinks she's gorgeous (though he does), and not because he's convinced she's the right candidate for the job, but because he thinks Prady is gay — and he doesn't like gay people. (The character uses a derogatory term for gay men here that I'm not going to repeat.) Alicia is clearly disturbed by this information... but she really needs his help. At the end of the episode, we learn that she's accepted Redmayne's offer. Damn it, Alicia.
Here's the thing: I don't at all agree with Alicia's decision (and in the episode's final moments, it becomes clear that she's feeling pretty conflicted about it), but I think it's a really interesting piece of character development. It shows us just how much Alicia has changed since her state's attorney campaign began. Would pre-campaign Alicia have tolerated Redmayne's advances? Would she have taken money from a sexist, misogynistic homophobe in order to further her career? I don't think so.
There's a war going on inside Alicia's head right now: What's morally and ethically "right" vs. What's necessary to win. I think it's going to be really fascinating to watch that battle continue to play out on screen.
Images: Jeff Neumann/CBS (2)